After almost a year later and a blocked street in Emida may be opened.
More than 30 residents signed a petition.
The street in question is located between Drifter’s Cafe and the home of Jim and Nancy Deusenbery.
The couple placed a new double-wide home onto their property last year and had to close the street down in order to get everything situated correctly. The plan was to reopen the street once they were finished.
It’s been almost a year now, the house is in and some of the locals have decided it’s time for them to quit blocking the street.
Commissioner Bob Short said he is aware of the situation.
“I know they had their motor home parked there, but it’s not a necessary access alley anyway and it won’t be there permanently,” he said. “It’s just a neighbor battle deal. There’s not an access problem whatsoever to anybody’s property.”
Miranda Ascencio, who has been the most vocal voice for reopening the street, said she disagrees and believes Mr. Short is favoring the Deusenbery’s because they are friends. She has addressed the county commissioners about the problem and has circled a petition getting signatures in support of reopening the street.
“They moved here in 2004,” she said. “Last year they put their doublewide in up there and said they were going to put closed signs in up there to get their gravel in and stuff. We were all fine with them closing the road while they were putting in their doublewide. But they just keep blocking it. He’s been asked to unblock it now and refuses to. The townspeople have been more than understanding.”
She said the street is used by several of her family members who live within a block of the street for access to their storage and as a means of safely backing their camp trailer up on to their property.
“My aunt lives down there and that street is the only way she can access her storage shed,” Ms. Ascencio said. “She has COPD pretty bad so she has to drive to it but she can’t because they’ve got all their stuff blocking it.”
Ms. Ascensio said she has contacted authorities about the issue but feels like she is not being heard.
“I keep getting the run-around,” she said. “I called the commissioners, and they tell me to call the cops and the cops tell me the commissioners aren’t their boss. I called the prosecuting attorney today and they say they can’t do anything even though it’s against the law. We are at our wits end.”
The street is also the way her parents, David and Chris Fuller, turn their camper around to be able to back it up to his property.
“My parents have lived up above there long before they (the Deusenery’s) moved in and have always used it to turn the camper around because there’s not a turnaround up where they live. My grandfather moved here in the early 1940s and used to plow that road when he worked for the county.”
It is unclear whether the street is legally a county road or an alley. Ms. Ascencio says the maps that she has been able to find show it as North College Avenue.
Nancy Deusenbury said the road in question is an alley not a street and that there is no reason for anyone to be on it.
“The only property it provides access to is our own,” she said.
Their reason for blocking it is to protect utility lines that run in a ditch across the street.
“Rain has created a ditch where the propane line runs across and so it needs to be refilled before people start driving over it, so we blocked it in order to keep the line from getting broke,” she said. “We are not shutting it down. We expect it to be opened in about a week if it doesn’t rain anymore.”
Commissioner Short also says that it’s an alley and that he expects the controversy to be resolved shortly.
“It was closed because it had a ditch across it that was soft and muddy where the water and propane lines run,” he said. “They’ve got a load of gravel sitting next to it, but they are waiting until it’s dry enough before they fill it in. Otherwise, the gravel will just sink into the mud. The alley cannot be closed permanently.”
Ms. Ascencio said that the Deusenbery’s have posted a closed sign on the road and park their camper there. She said they’ve also installed camper hookups on the opposite side of the street from their property. She does not believe that they plan to leave the street open for public use.
“This guy thinks that he can do whatever he wants and because Bobby and him are friends and that it’s ok,” she said. “I am done fighting with everyone. Next step is I’m going to try to talk to the commissioners one more time, then I think we have decided to hire a lawyer.”